Dow Crests 30,000 Tuesday 11/24 12:10
The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded above 30,000 points for the first
time Tuesday as investors were encouraged by the latest progress on developing
coronavirus vaccines and news that the transition of power in the U.S. to
President-elect Joe Biden will finally begin.
(AP) -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded above 30,000 points for the
first time Tuesday as investors were encouraged by the latest progress on
developing coronavirus vaccines and news that the transition of power in the
U.S. to President-elect Joe Biden will finally begin.
Traders were also encouraged to see that Biden had selected Janet Yellen, a
widely respected former Federal Reserve chair, as treasury secretary. The Dow
rose more than 400 points, or 1.4%, to trade just over 30,000 Tuesday
afternoon. The S&P 500 index, which has a far greater impact on 401(k) accounts
than the Dow, rose 1.3%.
The gains extend a monthlong market rally driven by growing optimism that
development of coronavirus vaccines and treatments will loosen the pandemic's
stranglehold on the economy. They also mark a rapid climb for the Dow from its
March 23 low of just under 18,600 during the worst of its early pandemic
The Dow jumped 480 points, or 1.6%, to 30,071 as of 12:30 p.m. Eastern time.
Boeing, which brings a heavy weight to the Dow, rose 4.4%. The technology-heavy
Nasdaq composite was up 1.1%.
Traders are favoring stocks that stand to gain the most from a gradual
reopening of the economy, such as banks and industrial companies. Overseas
markets also rose. Treasury yields and oil prices were headed higher.
"There's some relief that Biden is choosing moderates to fill out the
cabinet," said Barry Bannister, head of institutional equity strategy at
Stifel. Bannister also said the encouraging vaccine news continues to give hope
that there is an end in sight to the pandemic.
On Monday, the head of the federal General Services Administration
acknowledged that Biden is the apparent winner of this month's presidential
election. That allows the incoming president to coordinate with federal
agencies on plans for taking over on Jan. 20, despite ongoing efforts by
President Donald Trump to overturn the election.
Word that Biden has chosen Yellen as treasury secretary also added to
investors' confidence. Widely admired in the financial world, Yellen would be
the first woman to lead the department in a line stretching back to Alexander
Hamilton in 1789, taking on a pivotal role to help shape policies at a perilous
Stocks have been pushing higher this month, driving the S&P 500 up by more
than 10%, as investors have grown more hopeful that the development of
coronavirus vaccines and treatments will help pave the way for the economy
recover next year.
The latest vaccine developments are also tempering lingering concerns over
rising virus cases in the U.S., as well as in Asia and other parts of the
world, and new government restrictions on businesses aimed at limiting the
On Monday, drugmaker AstraZeneca reported surprisingly good results from
ongoing vaccine studies. It said its potential vaccine, which is being
developed with Oxford University, was up to 90% effective. Unlike rival
candidates, AstraZeneca's doesn't have to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures,
making it easier to distribute.
Last week, Pfizer and Moderna both reported study results showing their
vaccines were almost 95% effective. And, over the weekend, Regeneron
Pharmaceuticals received U.S. government approval for emergency use of its
COVID-19 treatment. The drug, which Trump received when he was sickened last
month, is meant to try to prevent hospitalization and worsening disease from
developing in patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms.
Treasury yields rose as investors became more optimistic about the prospects
for economic growth. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to
0.88% from 0.84% late Monday.
Trading is expected to be light on Wall Street this week ahead of the
Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, when U.S. stock markets will be closed. They
will reopen on Friday for a half-day trading session.
European markets were broadly higher, and Asian markets closed mixed.